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In: Child Social Work Policy & Practice

Chapter 6: Looked after Children – The State as Parent

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Looked after Children – The State as Parent
Looked after children – The state as parent

In this and the following chapter, the focus is on looked after children, the legal term adopted primarily for those living in public care. While Chapter 7 addresses the major settings within which children are ‘placed’, here we seek to review the main issues relating to their care.

It is important to note that the umbrella term looked after children hides great diversity in terms of care ‘careers’. Children become looked after for a variety of reasons and under different legal circumstances, while their time in care may range from days or weeks to almost an entire childhood. A majority will return to their birth families, while significant minorities will be ...

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